Actress Ananya Raj is ecstatic to have bagged two plum projects in the Telugu language where she plays the female lead. In fact, one of her films, tentatively titled Madrasi Gang, is being shot simultaneously in Telugu, Tamil, and Hindi. In addition to her, the Ajay Andrews directorial also features Ashmit Patel, Adhyayan Suman, and Ranga Jinu in prominent parts.
In her second film Thaggede Le, the actress stars alongside popular Tollywood actor Naveen Chandra. In a candid conversation with Eastern Eye, Ananya talks about her background, her dream role, and the filmmakers she wants to work with. She also spills the beans on her forthcoming streaming show. Read on…
I was born in North India (UP) and brought up in Mumbai. My parents moved to Mumbai in search of work when I was 2 years old. I studied at the University of Mumbai before enrolling myself in an acting school to pursue a career in Bollywood.
What inspired you to enter the world of films?
Honestly speaking, since childhood, I was always this kid who would break into a dance on hearing a Bollywood number. I would take part in plays, dance competitions, etc., during my school and college years. So, to answer your question, I was naturally inclined towards arts.
What kind of struggle did you go through in order to pursue your dreams?
The journey has been tough. I came close to leaving the industry because I was broken due to an endless number of rejections. Not to mention, the industry is full of sleaze-balls.
Tell us about your upcoming two movies and your character in them?
My upcoming releases are Thaggede Le (Dhaba in Hindi) a Telugu film and Madrasi Gang, a trilingual film. I play a de-glam character in Madrasi Gang. Her name is Savita who is raised in a chawl of Mumbai. In Thaggede Le, I play an NRI who returned from the US.
How challenging is it to work in a language you are not very familiar with?
It’s difficult but the south industry has been supportive linguistically. I guess they know the challenges.
Audience’s response to my work. I don’t care whether it’s negative or positive. I just want my projects to reach a large number of people. It gives me a kick.
Name a few directors that you wish to work with one day?
SS Rajamouli, Mani Ratnam, and Nag Ashwin! Is that too much to ask for? (Laughs).
What do you think of streaming platforms?
It’s a boon. OTT has given new hopes to artists including the makers. I think it’s one of the most successful discoveries of showbiz.
Will we be able to see you in any web project?
Yes, I am doing a show for OTT. It is called Highdose. It has been produced by a popular Marathi film production Shonali Films and directed by Dilip Vasudev. I play one of the female leads named Revathi.